Following reports by Amnesty International that on Sunday 26th August,at least 9 of the 47 death row prisoners in in Gambia have been secretly executed, SERUP- Socio Economic Rights & Accountability Project, has contacted President Goodluck Jonathan urging him to use his position and influence within the Ecowas Community to stop the imminent execution of Nigerians in the country.
There are about 2 Nigerians and 30 Gambians on death row in Gambia.
According to SERUP “We are seriously concerned that following very credible reports of execution of 9 death row prisoners by the Gambian authorities two Nigerians and over 30 Gambians are now facing imminent threat of execution. The Nigerian president must urgently act to stop this unlawful and arbitrary killing by the state of Gambia before it is too late.”
“To be sure, the threat of execution by the Gambian President amounts to a multiple violations of the of the death row prisoners’ right to life and fair trial rights guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and resolutions on moratorium on executions adopted by both the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly,” the organization also stated.
According to the organization, “Under section 81(4) of the Gambian Constitution the Gambian parliament must adopt a memorandum of execution before any execution can take place. We are fully aware that no such memorandum has so far been adopted. Similarly, most of the cases of those executed or about to be executed are still pending on appeal.”
“The only way now to stop the imminent execution of the two Nigerians and the Gambians is for President Jonathan to publicly ask the Gambian authorities to abide by their international legal obligations and halt any unlawful secret execution. If there is a clear case for the Nigerian President to protect Nigerians abroad, this is it,” the organization added.